Jewish establishment groups at University of Texas canceled a lecture by pro-Israel journalist and author Caroline Glick for fear of ‘alienating’ anti-Zionists on campus.
By: Lea Speyer and Rachel Frommer, The Algemeiner
A program slated for Monday, featuring a lecture by renowned American-Israeli writer Caroline Glick — author, most recently, of The Israeli Solution: A One-State Plan for Peace in the Middle East — has lost the sponsorship of Jewish and pro-Israel student groups at the University of Texas at Austin fearful about how her message might anger anti-Zionists on campus,The Algemeiner has learned.
“Some people are concerned Glick may not be the best representative for what we are trying to accomplish — that is, promoting our message and advocating for Israel,” Eliav Turk, who sits on the board of both Texans for Israel and AIPAC on Campus, told The Algemeiner. “There are fears she may alienate student groups and minorities we are trying to attract, which have traditionally taken a non pro-Israel stance.”
The organizations that have withdrawn their support for the program — funded by CEO of Davidsohn Global Technologies, Joseph Davidsohn — include Hillel, Texans for Israel and AIPAC on Campus.
Davidsohn called the push-back against Glick disgraceful. “She is being vilified because student groups believe she promotes a one-state solution — which means they clearly haven’t read her book,” he told The Algemeiner. “It is important that students hear her speak and learn an alternative narrative about Israel, not just the one put out by groups like Students for Justice in Palestine or Black Lives Matter.”
Rabbi Moshe Trepp, a Jewish life educator at UT Austin’s Hillel and one of the main campus organizers of the event, told The Algemeiner that the student government was informed by Hillel that its official sponsorship has been revoked, and that the reservation for the room in which Glick’s lecture was to take place was cancelled. Organizers are now attempting to find an alternative venue, either on or off campus, for her talk.
According to Trepp, the move came after student leaders “did their own research into Glick and saw that she was listed by liberal organizations as associated with a hate group — which is a false accusation, Glick is not full of hate, but she does say things about Israel that makes others uncomfortable.”
He said that the students’ attempt to keep her out of UT Austin is “creating an atmosphere on campus where left-wing haters who say terrible things about Israel and the Jews are never protested, and we can never bring in a person who forces people out of their comfort zone.”
The Algemeiner also learned that a Christian student was allegedly intimidated for promoting the event. She reported being told that by advertising the lecture, she is making a bad name for herself at the university — and could even cause riots.
Margo Sack, the director of Jewish student life at UT Austin’s Hillel chapter, denied ideology played a part in the cancellation. “An outside donor suggested hosting Caroline Glick on our campus, but our student leaders determined there was not enough student interest at this time,” she told The Algemeiner. “The proposed program was never placed on the calendar, because students were not interested in hosting her.”
She protested: “Texas Hillel does not shy away from diverse voices participating in discussion about Israel on our campus. We respect our student leadership and will continue to make programming decisions based on student interest.”
Glick told The Algemeiner that she found it “very disconcerting that we’ve come to a point where American Jews, and reportedly pro-Israel Jews, no longer feel comfortable supporting Israel, and believe they somehow have to apologize for it. This is a travesty and a tragedy. I feel sorry for these students, who have been raised so poorly that they are being denied the basic knowledge about who they are as Jews and what the Jewish state stands for.”